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Sep 22, 2008 12:53 PM

Paris best restaurant, what is your pick

In november, I will be in Paris for just one evening. Exceptionnally, I will treat myself to the best possible restaurant, classic grande cuisine française, and (gulp !) price is no object. I have reduced the list to the following places:
- Taillevent
- Lapérouse
- Senderens
- Pierre Gagnaire
- La Table de Robuchon
- Le Grand Véfour (just as a reference, because they are closed on friday nights, and of course, that's when I will be in Paris)

Which one would you pick? Would you suggest another one (please do so if you have better ideas)?

I will be dining alone, and although I have no problems with that, and I speak french, I don't want to go to a place where they will look down on me because I occupy (for dinner !!!!) a whole table for half the money they could get if I was a couple, if you get what I mean. I cannot abide rude service, especially at these prices...

Also, has anyone ever been to "L'ambassade d'Auvergne"? I am planning lunch there in October, when I will also be in Paris, but just for 1/2 day. I am looking for truly authentic and outstanding Auvergne, south western french food. This restaurant seems to get good reviews... What is your opinion?


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  1. First, I have over 60 meals at two and three star restaurants in Paris and Monaco as a single and never have I had a problem and my french is limited to the basics of hello, goodbye, thankyou, and the food is good. Second, Pierre Gagnaire is probably the best on your list but it is not at all classic but a temple of molecular gastronomy. Taillevent, in my opinion is past its prime. I would also consider L'arpege, Le Bristol, and L'ambrosie (the most classic restaurant in Paris)

    1 Reply
    1. re: sethd

      Thank you Sethd. I appeciate your mention of molecular gastronomy for Pierre Gagnaire. This was actually my top choice, but after what you said, I have to think further. Although molecular gastronomy can be spectacular, I am more in the mood for Classic french. I will look into your other suggestions. Thanks again.

      1. Any thoughts on L'Apicius?

        The more I research, the more I go crazy with the choices !

        1 Reply
        1. re: sandilib

          I think many on this board (especially souphie if he responds to your post) would agree that L'arpege is the best dining experience in Paris.

        2. Now that Lucas Carton is no more the answer becomes a lot simpler.

          Carre des Feuillantes

          1. I agree that Lucas Carton was the best restaurant on earth, at least the last few years. And Senderens, if you chose wisely, can give you a partial idea of why it was so great.

            But to the question of the best restaurant in Paris, the answer has to be l'Ambroisie, l'Arpège and le Cinq, because Pacaud, Passard and Briffard are the three best chefs in town, period. There are many other good places and chefs to like -- e.g. I love Besson, Rostang, Savoy, Le Bristol, Ledoyen. But those three just are the best chefs. Of the three, only Briffard, located inside the Four Seasons, also offers the Palace experience of supreme luxury. The other two are independent restaurants, l'Arpège being more simple and friendly (but not less expensive), l'Ambroisie more formal and somwhat intimidating but with the highest food potential (food at l'Ambroisie can be orgasmic. But it is boring when it is not, because of its absolute simplicity and classicism). Funnily enough, Briffard is also the most affordable -- 210 for the tasting menu vs 360 at Passard and no prix fixe menu at all for Pacaud. That's of course because palace restaurants don't have to make a profit.

            Here is a restaurant map I made, linking to pictures and reviews:

            For Briffard, see "Les Elysées" next door (where he was until recently). For l'Arpège, why not checking Lizziee's blog ( or Chuck's (

            Sticking to your list, Senderens has the highest potential and Robuchon is the most reliable. Le Véfour's appeal is his historic location and setting. Same for Lapérouse and his private dining rooms. Gagnaire is a crazy genius and you'd be in for a bumpy ride in a very pleasant modern dining room.